By Richard Bird
Why, in a systematic age, do humans oftentimes flip to astrologers, mediums, cultists, and each form of irrational practitioner instead of to technological know-how to satisfy their non secular wishes? the reply, in line with Richard J. fowl, is that technology, specially biology, has embraced a view of existence that renders meaningless the coincidences, serendipities, and different possible major occurrences that fill people's daily lifestyles.
Evolutionary biology rests at the assumption that even supposing occasions are essentially random, a few are chosen simply because they're larger tailored than others to the encircling international. This publication proposes an alternate view of evolving complexity. poultry argues that randomness capability now not ailment yet countless order. Complexity arises no longer from many random occasions of ordinary choice (although those usually are not unimportant) yet from the "playing out" of chaotic structures -- that are most sensible defined mathematically. once we correctly comprehend the advanced interaction of chaos and lifestyles, fowl contends, we are going to see that many occasions that seem random are literally the result of order.
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Additional resources for Chaos and Life: Complexity and Order in Evolution and Thought
The palatable species beneﬁt greatly from this resemblance because they get a “free ride,” as it were, in the survival stakes. The question is, how did the resemblance (referred to as Batesian mimicry) arise? The detailed arguments that ensued about this situation cast doubts on the doctrine of gradualism. Batesian mimicry is at ﬁrst sight a double-edged sword. If two species A (palatable) and B (unpalatable) resemble one another sufﬁciently, then, although A gains by the resemblance (by looking like a member of a less-edible species), B loses by it (because it looks edible to birds that have been eating the palatable species A), even though it isn’t palatable.
Figures such as the mathematician and astrologer John Dee, now often considered charlatans, were in their time as respectable as scientists as was Isaac Newton, also a mathematician, astrologer, alchemist, and theologian. The Age of Reason changed this outlook completely. Acceptable canons of knowledge were laid down, even if this meant classifying some phenomena as apocryphal—speciﬁcally those phenomena considered miraculous. Along with the rejection of miracles26 went rejection of the religious world order that they were seen to be supporting.
31 In some trees, the angle of emergence of branches from the trunk also shows remarkable constancy between individual plants. West, Brown, and Enquist32 have derived a universal scaling relationship for these dendritic networks, not only across individuals of the same species but effectively across all species, amounting to what they call a universal scaling law. Although they attribute its existence to the power of natural selection, they point out that this law ﬁts exactly with the fractal considerations of exchange surface areas across such units as leaves, capillaries, and mitochondria: “Fractal-like networks effectively endow Life with an additional fourth spatial dimension.
Chaos and Life: Complexity and Order in Evolution and Thought by Richard Bird